The Voice 17 Recap: Blind Auditions End, Battles Begin Live Blog (VIDEO)

THE VOICE -- "Blind Auditions/Battle Rounds" Episode 1707 -- Pictured: (l-r) Melinda Rodriguez, Shane Q -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)
THE VOICE —  Pictured: (l-r) Melinda Rodriguez, Shane Q — (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC)

The Voice season 17 Blind Auditions end tonight, with coaches Blake Shelton, Kelly ClarksonJohn Legend and Gwen Stefani filling up their teams. Later in the episode, the Battle Rounds BEGIN, featuring special celebrity mentors who will help the coaches to prepare their artists for a competitive duet.

Former Fifth Harmony member and X Factor USA alum Normani will help Team Kelly. Country and pop singer Darius Rucker lends a hand to Team Blake. R&B singer and former The Voice coach Usher assists Team Legend. And Black Eyed Peas member, producer and The Voice UK coach joins Team Gwen. 

Carson Daly is here as host. 

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Zoe Upkins – 16 – Nashville TN – Angel of Mine by Monica – Her godmother Sarah Gaines was a Christian artist. She encouraged Zoe to pursue music. But sadly, she recently passed from cancer. Right before she died, she learned Zoe would be auditioning for The Voice and her “face lit up,” says Zoe Kelly, John and Blake turn pretty fast. Zoe has a nice, deep tone. She’s not overdoing the runs, which is good. Her phrasing is pretty mature for a 16 year old. Gwen wanted a “young little princess girl” and is disappointed she didn’t hit that button (Ugh, I find her princess bit condescending.) Kelly says the same thing, only better. She likes working with young female singers, and has won with two! Blake touts his veteran status. But then John serenades her with a Monica song, personalizing the lyrics. “It was nice to meet you Zoe!” says Kelly, resigned to the inevitable. And of course Zoe Picks John.  Team Legend is complete!

Matthew McQueen – 21 – Georgetown TX – Someone You Loved by Louis Capaldi – For the longest time, he thought he was related to the actor Steve McQueen the actor. But an Ancestry search taught him otherwise. His day job is selling silver and gold to investors. Like, big bricks of actual gold. Weird!  His mother insists that “the older women go crazy!” Matthew is a pretty boy, with a pretty tone, I’ll give him that. Kelly hits her button, and Blake follows. Welp. A family member dreamed Matthew was on The Voice and Blake turned. Prophetic! John compares him to Christian Bale and Tom Cruise. But they aren’t singers! However,  he does go on to compare him to Shawn Mendes. Kelly turned because of his rasp. She calls it “sexy.” Blake jokes that he wasn’t waiting for anybody but him. It’s so funny that Kelly thought his family’s excitement was directed at her. Matthew Picks Blake. Because DREAM. 

Gracee Shriver – 16 – Owasso OK – Rainbow by Kacey Musgraves – She’s a senior in high school and has been playing tennis since 3rd grade. She’s a high achiever. No parties for her. Her real love is music. Her tone is nice, but her country twang doesn’t feel natural. With Blake out of the way, Kelly and Gwen feel FREEE to turn for a country singer. Aw. She breaks down in tears at the end. “I’m from Oklahoma too!” says Gwen, dubiously. Hm. Oklahoma adjacent. Gracee loves Kelsea Ballerini, whom she saw in concert when she opened for Kelly on tour.  Gwen pulls the “you get two for the price of one” card, while Blake advocates for his gal.  “I’m not dating Blake, but my husband manages him,” says Kelly, with the perfect reply. Gracee Picks Kelly. A wise choice

Ty Mauro – 26 – Los Angeles CA – Let’s Stay Together by Al Green – Ty is an EMT in Los Angeles by day. He likes not being stuck at a desk. But what he really wants is music! His entire family is musical. He played in a band with friends back in high school. He considers The Voice his last shot. Hm. I smell a no chair turn. His voice is very odd. And Gwen is looking for a “little girl.” Yep. No Turns. Gwen says he looks nothing like his voice. Nobody is saying “my team is filled up.” I bet he didn’t perform close to the end. The consensus from the panel: Interesting voice, but some pitchy things. 

Caroline Reilly – 16 –  Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane – While Caroline is singing there ‘s a big discussion about whether she’s young or not. It’s one of those deals where viewers don’t see her until the first chair turn. Gwen is looking for a “little girl.” Blake and Kelly convince her she’s young. When Gwen hits her button, it appears that Caroline is pretty young. Her voice isn’t special, though. But it seems all Gwen cares about at this point, is finding a youngin.  As it turns out, Caroline loves the classic and contemporary rockers. Gwen is probably a good pick for her. Gwen Fills Her Team.

The Battles begin! This season, each coach, for the first time gets a SAVE and a Steal. Now we meet the mentors blah blah blah. 

Khalea Lynee vs Zoe Upkins – Team Legend – The Boy is Mine by Brandy and Monica – John’s mentor Usher, is pretty happy to be back on The Voice. He coached a couple of seasons, winning season 6 with Josh Kaufman. Khalea was a four chair turn. An Anita Baker inspired singer and single mom. Zoe joined Team Legend earlier in the episode. John sang to them both! There’s a big age difference 36 vs 16. John wants Khalea to “loosen the pocket.” He wants MORE from Zoe. He demonstrates. Usher assures Zoe she has a licence to let go. He suggests to both to treat the duet as a conversation. Usher and John sing together and it’s pretty cool. Usher believes there is something to be said for being 36. And he’s got a point. Khalea brings a lifetime of experience to her performance. Zoe is good, but still has more to learn. Gwen is impressed by Zoe’s mature stage presence. Gwen gives it to her. Kelly loves both singers and promises to steal the loser! Blake appreciates, maturily, experience and confidence. He picks Khalea. John Picks Khalea. He considers her the most versatile. John Saves Zoe Kelly and Gwen Steal.  John says he messed up pairing them up. “Please do not leave me!” Kelly loves her “little swag” and reminds her that she’s won the show with young girls. Gwen warns Zoe, “You don’t want a coach that messed up!” Zoe Stays with John

Josie Jones vs Kat Hammock – Team Blake – Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver – This is Darius Rucker’s first singing show appearance ever! Blake Shelton whines that he lost a Grammy to Darius’n “Wagon Wheel.” Blake pitted two old school teens together. Josie lives on a farms and loves singers like Dolly and Tammy. Kat loves Billy Joel and…Bread. BREAD? She played piano, covering Billy Joel for her Blind Audition. FUN FACT. Bill Danoff father of The Voice alum Owen Danoff co-wrote “Country Roads.” Blake wants Kat to project more. Darius agrees. He reminds her that she needs to sing like it’s Madison Square Garden. Both need to loosen up on the chorus–including their body language. Josie and Kat are both putting their own twist on the song. Kat seems a little out of her element, though. Her voice is feathery soft, while Josie’s twang dominates. John calls it “sweet.” He finds Kat’s voice more intriguing, but feels Josie gave the better performance. Gwen thinks Kat would make a great record. She’d pick her. Kelly loved Josie’s controlled high harmony. She calls Kat’s voice “angelic.” Blake Picks Kat. I’m a little surprised!  He appreciates her unique voice. He claims she has a shot to win. Hm. I don’t know about that. Josie Jones is eliminated

Melinda Rodriguez v Shane Q – Team Kelly – Too Good at Goodbyes by Sam Smith –  Kelly says that she’s never “done something like this” with another singing show alum. Erm. Kelly was Jennifer Hudson’s mentor the season before she became a coach. Hm. Normani, Kelly’s mentor, was a teen when she competed on X Factor USA as a member of Simon Cowell’s manufactured girl group, Fifth Harmony. They went on to great success. She says the experience prepared her for the “real world.” Kelly picked a big song to accommodate both singers big ranges. Normani worked with Sam Smith! Shane works with disabled people by day, and hits the clubs at night. He was a four chair turn. Melinda is a jazz singer, finishishing her masters degree. Her brother is waiting for a heart transplant. She sang an Eva Cassidy inspired version of “What a Wonderful World.” Kelly feels Melinda has to get out of her head. Normani advises the pair to perform in the same pocket. They work with Shane on his breath control–Normani suggests he use falsetto. We see the pair at stage rehearsal. Kelly is so impressed, she’s crying.  They are both good! So it’s good one of them gets stolen, telegraphed before the break! Shane’s voice is strong and rangy. Melinda’s voice is jazzy and soulful. She has more finesse. I prefer her. Shane lays it on a little TOO thick at times. He could learn a thing or two about control from Melinda. Blake says Shane has a great “scream.” Hm. That’s one way to put it. He’d pick Shane. John loves them both. But he’d also pick Shane. I DISAGREE. Gwen liked Melinda’s confidence, she calls Shane a phenomenon. Kelly Picks Shane but Saves Melinda. John Steals Melinda. John says Melinda has the “opportunity to upgrade.” But he would have picked Shane too, so… I’d stay with Kelly! John mentions he arranged music in college. Kelly says while he was in college, she was winning a singing show. Kelly, always with the great comebacks. Melinda Stays with Kelly. 

Blind Auditions Results:


Khalea Lynee – Team Legend 
Zoe Upkins – Team Legend – SAVED
Kat Hammock – Team Blake
Shane Q – Team Kelly
Melinda Rodriguez – Team Kelly – SAVED


Josie Jones – Team Blake

In only the first hour of the Battles TWO saves are used. Come back tomorrow night for MORE BATTLES. 


About mj santilli 35052 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!